Daines leads from front as third team win again

Surbiton D v Kingston C, Thames Valley division X match played at Fircroft, Surbiton on 8 April 2024

The whooshing continues. Two days after beating Richmond E, the Kingston third team put Surbiton D to the sword in an away match at the refurbished Fircroft, where Surbiton have happily been reinstalled this season after a couple of years’ absence during the restoration. It was a very professional 2.5-1.5 win, with Kingston C captain Stephen Daines on this occasion putting himself in the team and enjoying an important victory on board 4.

Charlie Cooke was first to finish, winning smoothly against James Lawrence. Stephen made it 2-0 with a controlled victory against Shelia Siu, rook domination allowing him to drive home a passed pawn. But Sean Tay, having played an ambitious (but completely sound) early sacrifice against Kim Cross, then miscalculated in a key position, missed forced mate and went down to a 49-move defeat which he said as he left would guarantee him a sleepless night. The opening and Sean’s marvellous missed opportunity is worth looking at (though not necessarily worth endlessly replaying in your mind in the early hours of the morning!).

Sean’s defeat left securing victory in the hands of the reliable Ergo Nobel on board 2, and he did not disappoint, fending off Phil Goodings’ queen-and-knight attack (often a fatal combination) and earning the draw which gave Kingston the match by 2.5-1.5. Another excellent performance by a well-marshalled and highly motivated team.

Stephen Moss, Kingston Chess Club secretary